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Our history teacher asked our class to look up the meaning of Reich for bonus points, so I told him that it was empire. He told me to print my source, but I'm embarrassed to tell him that it's from a Wikipedia-based dictionary. How can I convince him that it's a credible source? Ultimateria 03:20, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Tell him that that meaning was verified by a native (or near-native) speakers, as most Wiktionary entries are. If you want to impress him even more, tell him that the source of the German word was a prehistoric borrowing from Proto-Celtic, ultimately deriving from the same Proto-Indo-European root that also gave Latin rex (king) (> English T-rex) and Sanskrit rājā "ruler, monarch" (pronounced [raa-jaa], whence English rajah, raja, maharaja etc.) ^_^ --Ivan Štambuk 03:38, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
To impress or to flabbergast him?? Deutsches Wörterbuch explains that the word is gemeingermanisch, with parallels in Gothic, Old Norse, what has Celtic language to do with it!? Bogorm 09:24, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
It was borrowed from Celtic to Proto-Germanic. --Ivan Štambuk 09:31, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

An excerpt from Don Ringe's book for Bogorm, who questions the Celtic origin of the Common Germanic word for "king":

Celtic loanwords in PGmc included at least *rīk- "king", *īsarną "iron", *ambahtaz "servant", *brunjōn- "mailshirt", *lēkijaz "physician", *gīslaz "hostage", *Rīnaz "Rhine", and *walhaz "foreigner" (an adaptation of the Celtic tribal name that appears in Latin as Volcae). The first is identifiable as Celtic because of its vowel: if it were cognate with Lat. rēx, rēg- the PGmc vowel would be *ē, but in Celtic (alone among the languages of ancient Europe) *ē merged with *ī. The same argument might apply to "iron", if was originally a vṛddhi-derivative of PIE *ésh₂r̥ "blood" (Cowgill 1986: 68, n. 10). The other loans are identifiable as distinctively Celtic words or formations. "Physician" appears to reflect *leagis, the preform of OIr. liaig; if the vowel sequence *ea was treated like native vowel sequences (which of course is not certain), the PGmc word might have had a trimoric vowel in its root syllable. "King", "physician", and "foreigner" were clearly borrowed before Grimm's Law applied; since the *b's and *g of the other words reflect, or could reflect, original breathy-voiced stops, it is possible that all these words were borrowed before Grimm's Law applied. The preponderance of words indicating social and political relations (including warfare) is obvious, suggesting that the Celts enjoyed a higher level of ‘civilization’ at the time of the loans. There are also quite a few words shared only by Celtic and Germanic, which might or might not be loanwords; typical examples include *tūną "fortified enclosure", *aiþaz "oath", *rūnō "secret", *marhaz "horse", and *rīdana "to ride". For further discussion see de Vries 1960.

That would be the usual explanation, for further factualisation of Common Germanic *rīkz "ruler, king" being borrowed for Celitc, confide in Vladimir Orel's Common Germanic dictionary [1] p. 305., which would be the latest and the bestest compilation of up-to-date scholarship on the subject. --Ivan Štambuk 12:32, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

That would be an extremely peculiar explanation, since neither DW nor ODS did even mention any Celtic origin or even cognate. These two dictionaries constitute the biggest linguistic achievements ever in Germany and Scandinavia, respectively, and I do not see any reason to juxtapose any haphazard contemporary author with the Gebrüder Grimm or with the authors of ODS. So, the mainstream Germanic linguistics expounds: Danish Rige/German Reich originates from rig/reich(link above), which means rich. Magister dixit! As for one of your additional claims which you quoted from your author, lēkijaz ( > Danish læge), ODS considers its origin usikker (=uncertain), which I personally understand as speculation. Online Etymology Dictionary considers it probably akin to Serbo-Croatian (sic!) lijekar and I am going immediately to add this interesting discovery in the respective article. I do not have the perseverance to investigate the other, but with one refuted and the second considered uncertain and only mentioned as robable by a source whose authority you quæstion I would not input other Celtic relations (I mean claims of origin, I do not contest the kinship, but the derivation) without metioning some well-known source (Onl. Et. Dict., DW, ODS, OED ..., something which is prominent) and would add Template:rfv-etymology, wherever there is an unsourced derivation (not kinship, it is incontestable) claim. Bogorm 16:17, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
What seems to be the problem Bogorm, the influx or important cultural terms from Celtic into Germanic defies your supremacist perception of the latter? Celtic speakers used to populate half of Europe, you know.
Please, what exactly is "peculiar" in the above explanation? The quoted excerpt is from the the latest grammar of Proto-Germanic, written by a renowned Indo-Europeanist, and the Celtic origin of Common Germanic *rīkz being furthermore corroborated by the latest dictionary of Common Germanic lexicon (containing only the reconstructions + reflexes, with hundreds of references). What on earth can be more reliable than that?
The fact that DW and ODS "do not mention" (that "even" of yours is way out of place) is no argument, as AFAICS they do not neither mention pre-Germanic forms/cognates at all. Furthermore, in no way are those two some kind of absolute arbitrators on the subject of prehistoricity of Common Germanic etymons. We have works that deal exclusively with that, and which are many decades more up-to-date with contemporary scholarship. So please cut the "mainstream Germanic linguistics.." type of conclusions.
German Reich "king, ruler", does not originate from reich "rich". The former is inherited from Common Germanic *rīkz, and the latter from Common Germanic *rīkjaz, *rīkjaz itself being a morphological derivative of *rīkz. So they are related, but in Proto-Germanic. Explaining Reich as a derivative of reich is plainly dumb folk etymology, which hardly deserves mentioning except maybe as the wrong one (just as we have in the etymology of god mentioning that it has absolutely no relation to good).
The illiterate misspelling of ljekar as *lijekar on etymonline speaks for itself. Now, when you mention that word, the etymology of that word is that it's a synchronic morphological derivative of lijek "medicine, cure" by means of agentive suffix -ar, itself inherited from Common Slavic *lěkъ < Proto-Slavic *lēku, whence it was borrowed from a Germanic language, prob. Gothic (lēka-, lēkeis etc.).
You know, the bizarre route you seem to follow in devising your conclusions of "refuting" and "uncertaining" notoriously reminds of Kypark. You should pay attention not to follow him in the same path of self-destruction, as the time wasted in ensuring him to come to senses has significantly lowered the bar of tolerance for such mode of discussing on my part. Please discuss controversial stuff first, then edit. --Ivan Štambuk 17:01, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I am not aware of your understanding of German, but for the first and the last time I shall translate to you the following written by the most renowned authors of linguistic work in the Germanic world, the Gebrüder Grimm
Abhängigkeitsbildung aus dem dem adj. reich ... Reich bezeichnet allgemein das mit einem Herrscher in Zusammenhang stehende, von ihm abhängige, und damit ... Herrschaft, Gewalt, Regierung

Tr: a dependent construction from adj. reich ... Reich signifies generally that which is connected with a ruler, dependent of ihm and thence ... rule, power, administration/government.
The similarity of reich->Reich to imperium (rule) -> imperium (empire) is glaringly irrefutable. Any connection between the illustrious authors and folk etymology is outrageous and as inept as trying to deny that Latin imperator comes from imperium/imperare. Do not compare me with KYPark, I am not trying to refute or obfuscate any IE origin of any word and do not contest the kinship, but the derivation. When ODS and DW do not mention Celtic (and I assure you that on othe occasions they do, when it is appropriate), then it is highly uncertain, not just uncertain. In fact, your obliteration of Petar Skok's quotation shows a striking similarity to KYPark's edits. So what, you said that you are sympathetical to only one Germanic language, which is English and which has swerved most from the Germanic lexic and grammar and you obviously refuse to believe that lijek is from Germanic Gothic! In fact it is this edit of yours erasing Petar Skok's quotation which resembles KYPark and is anything but constructive. Bogorm 18:33, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

German Reich "king, ruler" ??? This edit of yours casts a serious doubt about whether you made yourself familiar with the meaning of the German word at all. Shew me only one German text where Reich means king, ruler(!) and then I shall admit its Celtic origin, ok?
But exactly this constitutes the cul-de-sac for this far-fetched Celtic theory - that the Celtic word means king, ruler, but the German one means something entirely different and inanimate. The only bizarre or rather disconcerting things here are the erasion of Skok's quotation and the claim that in German Reich could mean or has ever meant ruler, king. Bogorm 19:20, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I've responded you for Skok elsewhere. For the meaning of German Reich that was a short-term blunder of mine (I obviously know that it means as I've answered it at the top of this page ^_^).
OK Bogorm, lets drop this issue for a few days. I have an idea how to sort cases like these out, and then we can continue, hopefully with the participation of other knowledgeable Wiktionary editors! --Ivan Štambuk
BTW (before we continue this elsewhere), you're right that Reich is a derivative of reich, but the latter is via OHG a reflex of PGmc. *rīkjaz that is itself a derivative of *rīkz which is doubtless from Celtic :) Sorry, my bad! PGmc. *rīkz itself is apparently directly reflected only in Gothic (reiks "ruler, lord, prince"). Think about all this for a while :) Cheers --Ivan Štambuk 00:15, 15 February 2009 (UTC)